30 March 2006

No Union Between Ruddock and Stanhope

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Just to dampen down the gay pride celebrations from this RA story about Stanhope wanting to legally recognise gay civil unions, the Federal AG Phil Ruddock has come out in this ABC report saying the Government will intervene unless the bill is changed as the ACT legislation elevates civil unions to the same status as marriage, contrary to Commonwealth legislation.

“For a territory to say ‘well that’s fine for the Commonwealth Parliament to have resolved in that way, we’re still going to assert that a civil union is a marriage in all but title, and we’re going to use marriage celebrants to demonstrate that’, let me make it very clear: that will not satisfy the Commonwealth,”

UPDATE: The CT has got this article up about the issue and Stanhope has issued this media release about how the nobbling of the proposal is SAD.

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Um, that’s from 1996 – it’s somewhat out of date. Among other things, Mandy’s now minister for Immigration and Ruddock’s moved onto being vampirically incompetent as Attourney General.

And apparently Mandy’s been quite happy to take same-sex partners as part of the spousal immigration policies (where the original immigrant is in a high demand occupation, anyway).

So what’s your point?

PHILIP RUDDOCK is now Australia’s Attorney General.Philip Ruddock is also known as the “Walking Cadaver.”
The following is an article from the “Sydney Morning Herald”September, 17th, 1996.


The Government will cap and kill applications by Australians to bring their overseas spouses into Australia a move which would see long-term separations of married couples unless the Opposition allows through the Senate tough new measures to curb applications.
The Minister for Immigration, Mr Ruddock,said the draconian move,allowable under present law but never used in relation to spouses, would help curb huge increases in applications for spouses, some of which were shams, but others ‘a fraud on Australians’.
Under present practise,applications for offshore spouses to come are allowed regardless of the quota set.Mr Ruddock wants to enforce his quota by a cap and queue regulation, making applicants after the qouta is reached to wait, possibly for months, until heading the queue for next years intake.
But in the face of Labor opposition in the Senate, he threatened to use his general cap and kill power to terminate applications made post-qouta.This would force Australians to apply again next year on equal terms with next year’s applicants, causing indefinite separations.
Mr Ruddock’s threat, which contradicts the Coalition’s strong pro-family rhetoric but is part of a clampdown on migration numbers,was denounced by Labor’s immigration spokeman, Mr Duncan Kerr, as social engineering.
The Opposition last week knocked off in the Senate one of several changes to regulations to tighten elegibility for ‘preferential family’ migration,available to spouses and aged parents.Mr Kerr told the Herald Labor would also disallow Mr Ruddock’s ‘cap and queue’ regulation.
Mr Ruddock told the Herald that if people who had already applied were allowed in,the progam would overstep this year’s 36,700 quota by about 13,000.Rather than allow an overshoot, he would use his general power under current law to cap and kill,unless Labor stopped trying to micro-manage his immigration program by disallowing regulations in the Senate.
Mr Kerr said that ‘Australians have always exercised their own choice on who they’ll marry,and I don’t believe any red-blooded Australian will allow the Government to force couples to queue up to live together.Now he’s saying if he can’t queue them he’ll cut them off.
‘If you meet and marry in January,thats OK,but if you’re a December bride or groom you mightn’t be able to get your spouse in for years.’
Mr Ruddock said he did not regard cap and terminate as the best outcome, but if it is necessary I will be applying it.
He said Labor had maintained a steady 37,000 quota for four years,before lifting it last year to 50,000.Many people had reported partners ‘walking out the door as soon as they arrive in Australia.’ ‘The fraud is being occasioned on Australians by people seeking to migrate,’ he said.
Mr Kerr blamed the increase on the wash-up of the Tiananmen Square massacre,under which Labor granted 40,000 Chinese people refugee status.But Mr Ruddock said there rises in applications accross the board, and the percentage increase was as great in England.”
JOHN HOWARD-The Lying Rodent.John Howard wants free trade but not the free movement of people.He thinks Australias biggest assets are its sheep, coal and uranium not people.He says he has the final solution to our problems “Too many people.”
“Philip Ruddock gazetted regulations when he was Australia’s immigration minister[number S241 of 1997] to stop visitors from many countries coming to Australia and among them is Poland.[Israel is also on the list as well as the following countries-Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Fiji, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Mauritius, Nauru, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Samoa, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tonga, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vietnam and Yugoslavia].”
More at http://nowhiteaustralia.blogspot.com/

Slinky the Shocker6:01 pm 05 Apr 06

OK! Gottit 🙂 Cheers…

The point is Commonwealth can’t use s51(xxi) [marriage] or s51(xxii) [matrimonial causes) of the Constitution as a basis to overrule the local governments legislation on civil unions (as suggested by vg) as both these heads of power refer to marriage between males and females. The Commonwealth can however use s122 [Territories] of the Constitution to overrule the local governments legislation.

s122 states:
“The Parliament may make laws for the government of any territory surrendered by any state…”

1st post a bit cryptic I suppose, I was just trying to be succinct but also support the argument with facts as opposed to my mere opinion

Slinky the Shocker5:11 pm 05 Apr 06

Ha ha ha…good comeback. To be honest, though…I didn’t get the point of your post.

StS, despite your gentle derision of my communication style I am guessing you still got the point of the post. (normally references would be footnoted)
I am afraid to tell you that Carlton v Melbourne is an unreported judgement due to its insignificance. Maybe you could get a verbal report from the few people who were in the public gallery on the day.

Slinky the Shocker4:50 pm 05 Apr 06

Binker: You just won the RiotAct communication award for this week. Here’s your prize:
Gotta love these legal professionals!

PS. Can you send me a copy of
G (Cth) v “Kevin and Jennifer” [2003] FamCA 94
as well as
Carlton(Blues) v Melbourne(Demons) [2006]93-72

“So it would appear neither the Commonwealth Legislature nor the High Court of Australia have not, and would not (in the case of the HCA due to stare decisis), consider a same sex union as a marriage (or matrimonial cause).” Sorry, poor structure but I’m sure you see the point

s43(a) Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) “…marriage as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life.”

This definition comes from Hyde v Hyde and Woodmansee (1866) LR 1 P & D 130 where Lord Penzance stated that “marriage as understood in Christendom, may for this purpose be defined as a voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.”

Hyde v Hyde and Woodmansee has been approved by the High Court of Australia, two examples being Calverley v Green (1984), 155 CLR 242 at pp259-260 or more recently R v L (1991) 174 CLR 379 at 389.

For a detailed discussion of “marriage” see AG (Cth) v “Kevin and Jennifer” [2003] FamCA 94

So it would appear neither the Commonwealth Legislature nor the High Court of Australia have not, and would not (in the case of the HCA due to stare decisis), consider a same sex union as a marriage (or matrimonial cause).

Thus it is highly unlikely the Commonwealth could use ss51(xxi) or (xxii) Const. s122 Const is the most obvious head that the Commonwealth would use.

Better late than never.

Slinky the Shocker2:51 pm 31 Mar 06

Ari: Maybe you shouldn’t anal-yze Maelinar’s words any further!

No point, Maelinar, rect-ifying it would only have dug yourself further into the hole.

The main thing to remember is that its important to keep discussing attractive lesbians.

I considered rectifying myself after posting, to allow Areaman to comprehend that I was referring to an unstated noun (the lesbians), but then I thought… bleh.

We all got it anyway…

Ahhh… nice one Jimmy – and this relates to gay marriage or attractive lesbians how? 😉

James-T-Kirk1:49 pm 31 Mar 06

In Canberra of all places, the porno captital of Australia….

Had a co-worker once who was dating this 18yo chick. He was about 26… We all believed it was because when you get them young enough, they don’t know to tell you what to do.

She certainly was hot.

Ultimately if it makes you happy…

I am happily married to my own hot chick. Therefore it is in my best interest to encourage other females to participate in an activity I find visually entertaining.

Absent Diane1:24 pm 31 Mar 06


Well picked Ari.

Poorly penned Mael. We knew what you meant though.

(snicker snicker)

I will still stand up for my fellow males out there and preach give dick a go, you might like it.

So that’s why you went to all those Mardi Gras parades, Maelinar. 😉

As with bulldog, it’s a myth anyway.

I’m kind of beginning to suspect JB though, he’s regularly jumping in on the 2 chicks side of the story, even though he’s male.

Notwithstanding any non-inclusion fantasies he may have however…

Absent Diane12:35 pm 31 Mar 06

muslim/christian they are both judaic and therefore fanciful…hindu takes from all religions… so I guess not suprising… they should stop calling it getting married and rename it…

I vote for getting it on…. inspires far more interest than getting married

EG 1… You are cordially invited to watch in utter boreddom specimen A and specimen B get it on… – even that sounds exciting though it was mentioned to be a boring event

Mundane human 1 – Oh im so in love with X
Mundane human 2 – he is getting it on’d with Y…

See, See – Im not so crazy after all

Hey, just a question, if a de-facto relationship is recognised as a common law marriage, what rights do married couples have that de-facto’s don’t?

Not asying I disagree with the law – everyone should be treated the same, but what IS the difference?

As for the whole “two hot chicks” tripe – I think it’s a myth anyway.

Perhaps a touch presumptuous to think that, if they weren’t snogging each other, you’d be in with a chance?

VY, I’m guessing you’re a male. If both chicks are hot, that means in real terms 2 hot chicks you’ll never get to meet and frat with. Is that a good thing ?

Your choice buddy. Although I’m married I will still stand up for my fellow males out there and preach give dick a go, you might like it. (I also accept beer as in-kind payment).

As for the marriage/civil unions crap, I’m bemused that nobody has come up with a new term for it already, since that seems to be the most logical way of solving the issue.

I initially toyed with shortening the term ‘gay marriage’, but could only come up with ‘garage’, ‘gaymar’ and ‘gay-age’. Obviously hetero people would not be able to be eligible for a ‘gay-age’ since they would come under the boundaries of ‘marriage’.

Well that’s it, as simple as that, an equivalent to a civil service and a marriage, a gay-age, for the homosexual amoungst us.

As far as I can say, marriage/civil unions are WAY overrated… but everyone deserves the right.

Why are people so afraid of this?

What harm is it doing YOU?

I only believe in gay marriage when both chicks are hot.

Toriness – Sssanta stated in his post that he agrees that anybody should be able to celebrate a civil union, regardless of who they are and what they like to do behind closed doors. You responded by labelling he and Thumper promoters of inequality and basically telling them that because they disagree with you that they should not bother posting?

Toriness – no offence – but fuck off. YOU are the one with the problem – not because you are part of (or sympathise with) the G&L community, but because you’re a militant attention seeking loser. You seek out oppurtunities to remind EVERYONE just how hard the G&L community have it and just how much the rest of Australia are bigots, rednecks and fascists. Well here’s a fucking newsflash: MOST PEOPLE AREN’T! Most of Australia is quite gregarious and don’t give a damn what goes on behind closed doors. But, being Australian, we suffer from tall poppy syndrome – and any group that is constantly standing in the spotlight complaining about inequality, dancing around in hotpants, demanding special treatment and claiming they are victimised are going to get noticed. Then, when it is pointed out we are branded by the miltiant wing (yeah – I’m talking to YOU toriness) as homophobic, redneck or unjust we get the shits. WHY ARE YOU SURPRISED?

I’ve said it before – being gay is incidental to being a fuckwit (i.e. anyone can be a fuckwit), so when someone calls a spade a spade respond in kind, but don’t misinterpret an insult aimed at YOU as being a slur against homosexuals.

I sincerely doubt that your attitude is reflection of the G&L community as a whole, so based on that I would encourage you to spend less time talking and more time listening.

Absent Diane8:45 am 31 Mar 06

Is marriage a christian thing… if so I’m not sure why any gay person would even think of associating themselves with such nonsense (nonsense which has persecutted them for years)..

The Australian federal government, through public statements made by John Howard and Philip Ruddock, has previously gone on the record to state that it would not interfere with a State or Territory’s decision to enact civil union legislation. And yet today I read that it is threatening to overturn the Australian Capital Territory (ACT’s) Civil Unions Bill 2006.

By claiming that the Civil Union Bill is ‘marriage by another name’ the Federal Government is conveniently glossing over the discrimination that couples undertaking a civil union in the ACT would still suffer under federal law. As long as the Federal Government refuses to recognise same-sex relationships in federally legislated areas like Taxation, Superannuation and Social Security, a State or Territory-based Civil Union WILL NEVER be ‘marriage by another name’ because a couple who undertakes a Civil Union will not be entitled to the rights enjoyed by married couples under federal law Such discrimination will remain regardless of whether or not the Civil Union ceremony is performed by a celebrant, who also happens to be licensed as a marriage celebrant under the discriminatory federal Marriage Act.

Philip Ruddock and John Howard are using semantics to justify bigotry and discrimination. (It would be timely for John Howard to remember that Tony Blair had no problems legislating for civil unions in the UK for same-sex couples recently.)

This discrimination is indicative of those who seek to impose on the entire community their narrow view of what is “moral”, and who seek to use same-sex couples as scapegoats to blame for society’s ills. I recall all too well the attempt by some religious groups in the 1980s to blame gay men for HIV/AIDS and to cynically use HIV as a weapon to try to drive society back into the sectarianism and hypocrisy that characterised the 1950s.

Certain religious groups still have no hesitation in promoting the most appalling and dishonest anti-gay propaganda in the name of “family values”. The Nazis also claimed to be committed to family values, and were equally intolerant of freedom of choice. Tens of thousands of homosexual men were interned by the Nazis, and many of them perished in concentration camps. It was not the first time gay and lesbians had been used as scapegoats by political or religious fanatics, nor was it the last time.

Ideological bigots who claim that to remove such discrimination would somehow damage the rights of those who suffered no such ill-treatment. I’m truly sick of the whingeing and whining that comes from the religious conservatives every time someone obstructs a little of their pathological crusade against same-sex families!

The proposed ACT legislation does not equate civil unions with marriage. To complain, as the Attorney General has done, that it “implies” equality shows just how much influence religious bigots have over a supposedly secular federal government.

The Civil Unions Bill (ACT) 2006 specifically states that a civil union is NOT a marriage. The Civil Unions Bill (ACT) 2006 was drafted with the intention of giving equal rights and recognition to all committed and consensual relationships in the ACT in terms of ACT law.

It is surely clear to the Federal Government that the Civil Unions Bill (ACT) 2006 only has the power/ability to end discrimination against same sex couples in terms of ACT law and in the ACT jurisdiction. It does not effect Commonwealth law nor does it purport to extend beyond the ACT’s jurisdiction. An ACT civil union is not a ‘marriage’ therefore it does not conflict with federal law, i.e. the Marriage Act, under the powers delegated to federal government in the Constitution. Any steps that the Federal Government takes to overturn this legislation are a blatant abuse of their powers relating to Territory governance.
This government is not just shutting out the gay and lesbian community with its actions in opposing the Civil Unions Bill (ACT) 2006. It is insulting gay and lesbian people’s friends and family who love and support them. This adds up to a lot more people than you imagine, I suspect.

I for one hope that members of the federal parliament will reject any attempt to interfere with the ACT Government’s legislation on same-sex unions, whether directly or indirectly.

So we’re allowed to use the federal electoral role for the ACT, even though technically they’re different things, but we’re not allowed to use the federal list of celebrants for civil unions? What the difference (apart from religion).

… but the beer idea sounds more interesting ….

The planned use of marriage celebrants was something Ruddock was banging on about on ABC radio this morning.

Slinky the Shocker4:30 pm 30 Mar 06

Blame all and have a beer! Even better!

Ari, I suspect the marriage thing came from a dear RA commenter, by the looks of comments and reports in previous papers etc. However the SMH has used the ‘M’ word in their article, so I say blame all.

Slinky the Shocker4:27 pm 30 Mar 06

Well, then: Mayor amend the damn bill, remove the celebrants, dupe Mr. Burns and Bill Shadafakap and everyone have a beer…mmmmmm…beer!

It seems it somehow morphed into the full-blown marriage issue ‘cos of the idea to use marriage celebrants (Commonwealth-licenced).

Slinky the Shocker4:12 pm 30 Mar 06

So who made it a marriage issue then? CT? RA? Montgomery Burns?

barking toad4:04 pm 30 Mar 06

Heard Phil on radio samuel not long ago saying that this doesn’t need to be an issue – the mayor can have all he wants but needs to make it not a marriage issue, just a civil union. Bit of grandstanding all round except Phil carries a bit of clout as distinct from the local mayor who just wishes he did too.

I agree. Lets share the inhumanity around a bit. Stemming the immigration problem would be far easier using submarines (seeing we are an island continent and the Navy could do with the training, in case the nasty indo’s attack. Putting down the unemployed wouldn’t be as fun as dropping them off in the Gobi desert and seeing which comes home first. Plus all the betting outlets would be able to make killing, thus increasing tax to various governments, which would then in turn be able to support the little unemployed that would be left alot better than what is being done currently. It would beat the sh*t out the Melbourne Cup I reckon, plus keep PETA quiet, and give Bono, rest of Hollyowood, STR, Greenpeace etc something of substance to complain about.

Pigs bum! If the Federal govt takes steps to overturn this legislation they will fail if they don’t have the power to do so. If they do overturn it then they do have the power.

As a lawyer you should know that the fact that the law does not purport to extend beyond that ACT’s borders have no relevance with respect to its inconsistency.

Civil union is simply marriage under another guise, and I would nigh on guarantee the High Court would interpret as such.

I am not against gay marriages. Who people poke is their own business unless it affects me. What I am offended by is the amateur grandstanding. For it to be done properly it needs to be enacted at a Federal level, not by the local mayor

Be angry all you like about Howard et al. They got elected in a landslide last time, and it will be bigger next time, despite what the ilk of Combet and all those Scottish union officials say

No offence Ssanta or Thumper but if you have no interest in promoting equality for others then don’t bother reading posts/comments about it or making your own comment. I suppose you think that other people who are discriminated against or deprived of rights are just bleating as well? Shall we round up all the refugees and shoot them? Place mines around our borders to keep them out? Hey while we’re at it, let’s put down all the unemployed as well – share the inhumanity around a bit!

And vg my reply (as a lawyer) is this: The Bill does not effect Commonwealth law nor is it inconsistent with it, nor does it purport to extend beyond the ACT’s jurisdiction. An ACT civil union is not a ‘marriage’ therefore it does not conflict with federal law, ie the Marriage Act, under the powers delegated to federal government in the Constitution. Any steps that the Federal Government takes to overturn this legislation are a blatant abuse of their powers relating to Territory governance.

Both Howard and Ruddock have publicly stated before that they would not interfere with States and Territories which enacted civil union legislation – this is another example of them going back on their word and lying to the Australian public. And if nothing else that should make you angry – nevermind it’s about a topic you’re apparently tired of hearing about.

Sorry, and those sections are from the Constitution…my bad

Again nothing more than amateur grandstanding by the CM. As a legally trained individual (but you wouldn’t guess it) he would be well aware of Section 51 (xxi) and (xxii) that give the Commonwealth jurisdiction over issues of Marriage, Divorce and Matrimonial causes.

He would also be aware of Section 109 of the same document which renders State (or Territory) laws invalid when they are inconsistent with that of the Commonwealth.

Much like his ‘amendments’ to terrorism laws, he will once again be swatted out of the way like the insignificant joke he is at a Federal level. True change to the matromonial laws will only come at a Federal level.

I’m not debating whether the gist of his ‘laws’ is or isnt a good thing, but his amateur theatrics and histrionics do nothing but isolate the ACT Government at a Federal level.

I feel embarassed to have him running the show here

Toriness, as far as equality goes, after 6 months a same sex couple is seen as a defacto partnership, giving them the same rights as hetrosexual couples. All bar the little piece of paper who have to fork out a few dollars for.

I agree with you that anyone should be able to celebrate a civil union with another, without judgement or red tape in the road. But i suspect that you flogging this dead horse will only piss people like myself off, who have up until now bit our tounges whilst you bleat like sheep with its head stuck in a fence.

No offence, but your are beginning to give me the shits.

i think part of the problem arises due to people misusing deliberately or through ignorance the terms marriage and civil union.

Slinky the Shocker12:22 pm 30 Mar 06

A jihad on cartoons! I am sure the AG would sign that, too, considering that he had been misused as a template before.

barking toad11:37 am 30 Mar 06

Phil’s just giving the mayor a clip under the ears to remind him of his place. Probably not for any real good reason but just because he can.

Sorta like school days when you know you really shouldn’t but can’t resist giving some annoying little prick a slap just because they’re there.

politically this is a win for everyone who isn’t seeking a civil union.

out in the wider country most voters won’t look at the issue just hear the government is shutting down plans by those crazy poofter-lovers in canberra to wreck marriage. A big win for the Government.

Here in Canberra the local Government gets to paint the federal Liberals as intevening red-necks trampling all over the local guys.

As an added bonus for Mr. Stanhope the local libs are so grovelling in their love of the Federal Government, as they try to brown nose their way out of the assembly and into a cushy appointment, that they’ll walk right into the trap.

I just find it very sad that there are these people who are apparently so threatened by moves to give others equality. It is very sad indeed to not be able to extend to others what they have themselves. It is very selfish and an indictment on our society.

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